I recently wrote a post on how to be alone. Being alone is something I excel at, whereas being sociable is a skill I’m still working on begrudgingly. Spending time on your own as an introvert is addictive. I not only crave it, I firmly believe I need it to function. And that’s why sometimes I really have to remind myself to be sociable.
I find conversation difficult. I’m not a chatter and I don’t command attention when I walk into a room. I much prefer to listen than talk and I would always prefer a good book over a night out so I’m often of the belief that a social event that doesn’t include me looks pretty much the same one as one which does include me.
But as I’ve got older, I’ve realised that socialising is actually quite important. Gone are the days of having a set of school friends that you see every single day. Sometimes socialising is the only time you actually see your friends. In all honesty, socialising is something that I tend to forget to do. It’s not a priority to me. So with that in mind, I’ve created some rules to help me be more sociable.
I hate going on nights out but my friends love it, so every once in a while I’ll say yes. I try to focus on the idea that it’s the company that I’ll be enjoying even if the activity wouldn’t be my first choice. Making friends and keeping them is hard as an adult so don’t lose friends just because you don’t always want to do the same social activities.
Be the initiator
Without sounding incredibly selfish, I find that the times that are easiest for me to socialise are when I’ve picked the activity. Doing this actually works in an introvert’s favour. I don’t like going to clubs or shopping with other people (just the thought of that makes me shudder) but I love going to a coffee shop for a chat or going on a country walk with friends. If you initiate the activity then you’re much more likely to go and not just spend all day in your pjs reading in bed.
Find a hobby which forces you to socialise
When I started blogging, I had no idea that it would open up a whole world of opportunities and events. I thought that blogging was a completely solitary activity, one which I’d never be able to talk about with anyone because how was I going to meet other bloggers when we’re all sitting at a desk type away to no one in particular? But, I was so wrong. Getting invited to events has forced me to socialise and to make new friends who like the same things I do. Miraculously, a solo hobby like blogging has helped me realise that I don’t actually hate socialising.
Don’t pressure yourself
Don’t make yourself feel bad when you don’t want to socialise. My battery quickly runs down when I’m around others and I need all the alone time I can get to charge it up again. So don’t feel like saying no to social events makes you a bad person, we all need time to ourselves, just some of us need it more than others.
Stop believing that your input isn’t worthy
I am always of the belief that I don’t really have anything useful to add to a conversation which is why I stay quiet a lot of the time. As a result, it puts me off from socialising too much. I used to think that my presence wasn’t needed at social events so I just wouldn’t go. But I’m slowly learning that that isn’t the case. Everyone has something to give, so stop believing that your input isn’t justified.
Do you find it easy to socialise? Or is it something you have to work at? Let me know in the comments!